In “My Unknown”, Joséphine Japy and François Civil form a couple who get lost because of a shift to another dimension.
When Joséphine Japy and François Civil broke the ice in a bath before filming
To develop real chemistry, director Hugo Gélin asked his two actors to overcome a slightly embarrassing moment before filming.
My unknown: François Civil changes dimension
After Like brothers and Tomorrow it all startsHugo Gélin remains on the theme of travel with My unknown. Released in 2019, this romantic-fantastic comedy takes François Civil to another dimension. In the one that his character Raphaël has always known, he is a successful writer of children’s novels.
Married to Olivia (Joséphine Japy), his first love, the author is intoxicated by his success, sinks into arrogance, and neglects his loved ones. Their couple is faltering and following a big argument, Raphaël wakes up in a parallel universe. In this world, he is no longer a celebrity but a professor of literature. Olivia is a renowned pianist who has no idea she exists.
The only landmark for Raphaël is his best friend Félix (Benjamin Lavernhe). Thanks to her help, the writer will try to get closer to Olivia and break the curse, in the hope of finding his life back. Edith Scob and Camille Lellouche complete the cast of this sweet alternate history influenced by references like an endless day Where It was time but which has no trouble finding its way, partly thanks to its two endearing protagonists.
An essential alchemy
My unknown is therefore a story of rediscovery, of reconquest. In its introduction, the feature film recounts the first meeting between Olivia and Raphaël, the beginning of their life together, and the idyllic years of their love story, until routine sets in. From the outset, the chemistry between their two interpreters is obvious.
So that the actors learn to get to know each other and develop a real bond, Hugo Gélin organizes several reading sessions before filming. The filmmaker is also planning a trip to Prague with Joséphine Japy and François Civil, as the latter tells First in 2019 at the Alpe d’Huez festival.
During this stay, the director films many images, some of which will end up in the feature film. In front of his camera, the two actors have no choice but to break the ice. François Civil remembers about this weekend:
Hugo had a professional camera which enabled him to take images which are in the film, some of which are not. There was in particular our second day in Prague where he said to us: ‘Listen there I have in mind a little scene where you are in a bathtub taking a bath’. And hey, when you don’t know the person you have in front of you and you suddenly have to take off your clothes and pretend that you’ve known each other for a long time, it was a good way to break the ice.
Josephine Japy adds:
It’s so important actually. It’s absolutely necessary to feed the story because in addition we follow them over ten years at the beginning of the film so we need to feel their construction, their evolution and their love.